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Monday, March 21, 2016

Anniversary of the Birth of Hermano Pedro

Iglesia de San Pedro Apostol (Church of St Peter the Apostle) in Vilaflor, Tenerife

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Hermano Pedro, the first Central American and Canarian Saint. Peter of Saint Joseph de Betancur (or Betancourt) y Gonzáles was born in Vilaflor on 21st March 1626 and lived in Tenerife until the age of 23, dedicating his life to shepherding goats between the peaks and the coast, close to where his cave is to be found. In the last half of his life, he lived in La Antigua, Guatemala, where he became a missionary. Through his charitable works, Brother Peter became one of the pioneers of providing medial assistance to convalescents as well as bringing education to the indigenous population and to the poor. His extreme dedication and his works in providing for the most needy made Hermano Pedro a very popular figure amongst Christians in Guatemala, resulting in his canonization by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

Tenerife’s Most Famous Goatherd, Saint Hermano Pedro
Unlike so many journalists writing about the resorts, Pamela has not only actually been to Tenerife, she lived on the island for 16 years, for the majority of that time in a rural valley immersed in the local culture in a way that few outsiders have been privileged to do and gaining a wealth of knowledge about the island, its people, their customs, fiestas and celebrations that she is now able to share via this site. Fluent in Spanish, she also translated and reported for the various English-language newspapers.

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